Source: NHL to change tiebreaker

Updated: August 22, 2010, 12:48 PM ET
By E.J. Hradek | ESPN The Magazine

The NHL plans to finalize a change to its regular-season tiebreaking system for 2010-11 at a Sept. 14 Board of Governors' meeting, a league source said.

Under the new plan, the first tiebreaker will be a combination of regulation time and overtime victories, with shootout wins excluded. In the past, the first tiebreaker had been total wins of any kind.

Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson proposed the move at the NHL general managers meetings in Florida last March.

The source said he expects the Governors' vote to be "nothing more than a housekeeping approval."

That's good news for many of the league's GMs, who have been pushing for the move.

"I'm very happy about it," said Red Wings GM Ken Holland, who has been a vocal proponent for just such a move. "This puts more emphasis on the 60 [or 65] minutes."

The league is making the adjustment to give more weight to victories gained in some form of team play, rather than by shootout.

E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.